BLOOD MASS AT CASTLE GRASH-NATAK
By Johann Mendellin
Fredrick gripped the monster with his powerful hands, and with a ferocious growl ripped the its claws away. Fueled by the righteous rage of a good man forced witness to evil, he threw the thing that had been Eryonigray the elf against a red-brick wall. The monster stared out with unseeing eyes that glowed with a demonic red light.
The beast groaned with the impact, and lunged with its arm forward. Fredrick dodged under the appendage and landed a fierce uppercut on ht creature’s jaw.
The bone cracked, but the thing did not waver. It slammed its arm against Fredrick’s head, who went flying across the ally. Fredrick tripped over a dead guards man, whose face lay so mutilated as to be unrecognizable. Fredrick looked mournfully at the desecrated man, and offered a silent prayer of forgiveness as he took hold of the still holstered knife of the man who had not the time to draw it before pungent death claimed him in that alleyway.
Fredrick turned to the hell creature. “Come test my mettle, monster, and pray that whatever cruel God that spawned you be more merciful than I!” Fredrick launched forward and punched the knife straight into the skull of the monster, staring defiantly into the terrible eyes of that thing. The knife destroyed one of those eyes, and the other seemed to intensify in its evil. The monster took Fredrick into its embrace, and squeezed.
“AAARGH!” yelled Fredrick, straining against the monster. His left arm was pinned to his side, and his right still held the knife. Fredrick grit his teeth and growled, twisting and tunneling the knife further. Blood oozed lazily, the body long dead, caking Fredrick’s hand and face. The monster opened its mouth, and Fredrick recoiled so much as he could in the vice-grip from the stench. The sickness stirred within Fredrick, and lights played in his eye.
With the last of his strength, Fredrick pushed the knife further still, and the blade broke through the other side of the monster’s skull. Suddenly, as if the final lingering vestiges of Eryonigray’s human essence (such as it were, being an elf) broke free of this cruel spell that so held his soul, the monster felt pain and released Fredrick.
Fredrick dropped to the ground and spat the sick that had so nearly erupted from him. He turned a vengeful eye upon the monster, and launched, bringing the thing to the ground. Fredrick pinned the monster to the ground and glared a the monster.
“Back to whatever hell spawned you!” Fredrick brought his fist down upon it, smashing the skull open entirely. The monster spasmed, reached one hand to Fredrick’s face. The remaining eye rolled to the side, burning with greater intensity. Struck by terrible revelation, Fredrick reached for the eye as the hand wrapped around his throat.
He strained against the monster once more, his hand not an inch away from the eye. The eye seemed to laugh at him, and the hand gripped tighter at his throat. With a breathless scream, Fredrick brought the stretching hand hard against the arm choking him, breaking it and bending it inward. Fredrick fell, and used the momentum to bring his hand upon that demon eye.
He smashed it, and suddenly he saw a vision of a massive orc sitting upon a black throne of bones. His skin had the color of a rotted corpse, a grin like a gentleman death, a broken tusk, and a blackened scar against his eyes that glowed an intense red. The eyes glowed brighter, and dominated Fredrick’s view of the scene. A strange voice whispered a guttural and foul language.
The vision ended. The monster gripped madly at Fredrick’s neck. Suddenly, it released him, and Fredrick fell to the floor, coughing and sputtering.
“HEY! What’s going on here?!” Fredrick turned toward the voice, and saw Lucky down the alley. The old dwarf ran up to him, his face clouded by equal parts suspicion and concern. He paused when he saw the rest of the scene, screwing up his face in disgust. He shook his head solemnly, and gripped Fredrick’s shoulder. “I told you the rat wasn’t to be trusted. I have no love for elf wenches, but to kill the kids. Such evil.”
Fredrick held Lucky’s shoulder as well for support. He looked up into his face, and spoke with great desperation, as if the words on his tongue were of great importance and his own body’s inability to articulate frustrated and agitated him.
“Lucky! Tell me, does the words ‘Grash-Natak’ mean anything to you?!”
WHAT COULD THIS MYSTERIOUS MESSAGE MEAN FOR THE DARING FREDRICK? FIND OUT IN NEXT WEEKS ISSUE OF AMAZING ADVENTURES!